Somalia

Map

Somalia Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north;

Natural Resources: uranium and largely unexploited reserves of iron ore, tin, gypsum, bauxite, copper, salt, natural gas, likely oil reserves;

Natural Hazards: recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during rainy season;

Population: 10,251,568 (July 2013 est.)
note: this estimate was derived from an official census taken in 1975 by the Somali Government; population counting in Somalia is complicated by the large number of nomads and by refugee movements in response to famine and clan warfare

Factbook

Quick Facts About Somalia

Population: 10,112,453
note: this estimate was derived from an official census taken in 1975 by the Somali Government; population counting in Somalia is complicated by the large number of nomads and by refugee movements in response to famine and clan warfare (July 2010 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 45% (male 2,282,325/female 2,271,707)
15-64 years: 52.5% (male 2,659,151/female 2,650,330)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 102,941/female 145,999) (2010 est.)

Religions: Sunni Muslim
Languages: Somali (official), Arabic, Italian, English
Internet Users: 102,000 (2008)

Country Name
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Somalia
local long form: Jamhuuriyada Demuqraadiga Soomaaliyeed
local short form: Soomaaliya
former: Somali Republic, Somali Democratic Republic

Government Type: no permanent national government; transitional, parliamentary federal government
Capital name: Mogadishu
geographic coordinates: 2 04 N, 45 22 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Military Branches
Somali National Forces: Somali Army (2010)

Dependency Status: *

Background
Britain withdrew from British Somaliland in 1960 to allow its protectorate to join with Italian Somaliland and form the new nation of Somalia. In 1969, a coup headed by Mohamed SIAD Barre ushered in an authoritarian socialist rule that managed to impose a degree of stability in the country for more than two decades. After the regime”s collapse early in 1991, Somalia descended into turmoil, factional fighting, and anarchy. In May 1991, northern clans declared an independent Republic of Somaliland that now includes the administrative regions of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sanaag, and Sool. Although not recognized by any government, this entity has maintained a stable existence and continues efforts to establish a constitutional democracy, including holding municipal, parliamentary, and presidential elections. The regions of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug comprise a neighboring semi-autonomous state of Puntland, which has been self-governing since 1998 but does not aim at independence; it has also made strides toward reconstructing a legitimate, representative government but has suffered some civil strife. Puntland disputes its border with Somaliland as it also claims portions of eastern Sool and Sanaag. Beginning in 1993, a two-year UN humanitarian effort (primarily in the south) was able to alleviate famine conditions, but when the UN withdrew in 1995, having suffered significant casualties, order still had not been restored. A two-year peace process, led by the Government of Kenya under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), concluded in October 2004 with the election of Abdullahi YUSUF Ahmed as President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia and the formation of an interim government, known as the Somalia Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs). The TFIs included a 275-member parliamentary body, known as the Transitional Federal Assembly (TFA). President YUSUF resigned late in 2008 while United Nations-sponsored talks between the TFG and the opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) were underway in Djibouti. In January 2009, following the creation of a TFG-ARS unity government, Ethiopian military forces, which had entered Somalia in December 2006 to support the TFG in the face of advances by the opposition Islamic Courts Union (ICU), withdrew from the country. The TFA was increased to 550 seats with the addition of 200 ARS and 75 civil society members of parliament. The expanded parliament elected Sheikh SHARIF Sheikh Ahmed, the former CIC and ARS chairman as president on 31 January 2009, in Djibouti. Subsequently, President SHARIF appointed Omar Abdirashid ali SHARMARKE, son of a former president of Somalia, as prime minister on 13 February 2009. The TFIs are based on the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC), which outlines a five-year mandate leading to the establishment of a new Somali constitution and a transition to a representative government following national elections. However, in January 2009 the TFA amended the TFC to extend TFG”s mandate until 2011. While its institutions remain weak, the TFG continues to reach out to Somali stakeholders and to work with international donors to help build the governance capacity of the TFIs and to work toward national elections in 2011.

Area – Comparative: slightly smaller than Texas
Area total: 637,657 sq km
land: 627,337 sq km
water: 10,320 sq km

Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plateau rising to hills in north
Climate: principally desert; northeast monsoon (December to February), moderate temperatures in north and hot in south; southwest monsoon (May to October), torrid in the north and hot in the south, irregular rainfall, hot and humid periods (tangambili) between monsoons
Natural Hazards: recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during rainy season